Here are photographs of the wastewater treatment plant in Wilmington, Delaware — managed by Veolia Water North America — whose representative welcomed our ten of us from the Delaware Nature Society on Wednesday afternoon, March 13, 2019. We spent over two hours touring the plant and ended our visit on the spit of land separating two large retention ponds next to the Delaware River.
Two wastewater treatment improvements are possible in the near future. One is to separate storm runoff from sewage; a.k.a. combined sewer overflow mitigation. The other is to pre-treat wastewater coming from industrial plants.
Gerry, our Veolia tour guide, asked us more than once to pass on the word: residents of the area should watch what they put down the drain! Stuff does not magically disappear just because it is poured into your pipes! Grease was at the top of his list of substances that are difficult to eliminate and that gum up the works. He also would like to see fewer residents dumping drugs down the toilet; they should take them to a drug store instead for disposal.
Proposed Budget for 2019
The Wilmington Mayor’s office announced the following on 3/28/2019: “Based on a recommendation from Wilmington’s independent Water/Sewer Citizens Advisory Board (UCAB), the Mayor is proposing a 3.8% increase in water and sewer rates to support the proposed FY 2020 water/sewer/stormwater budget, which totals $77.9 million. This is an increase of 3.3%, or $2.5 million, over the current FY 2019 budget. The budget proposal would continue to support initiatives begun in recent years to make the City’s utility financially and environmentally sound. These initiatives include accelerating Wilmington’s Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) mitigation effort and improvements to the City’s water filtration and water supply systems which exceed EPA standards. Mayor Purzycki said a financially and environmentally sound water and sewer utility will contribute to preserving the water supply for all of northern Delaware, especially in times of drought. The proposed budget does not include a water rate increase for the City’s water customers who live in New Castle County.”
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